The physical effects of Crystal Methamphetamine

The physical effects of amphetamines are similar to those of other stimulant drugs. When amphetamines are taken by mouth, snorted or smoked, the user usually experiences feelings of euphoria, heightened alertness and greater energy. Heart, breathing and blood pressure are increased, and sensations of hunger and fatigue are reduced. The mouth is usually dry and swallowing is hard to do, which makes eating food and urination also difficult.

Short-term physical effects

The short term physical effects of Crystal Meth are vast and various, some common symptoms include; The users' pupils become dilated, reflexes are faster, decreased appetite, shaking hands, slurred speech, nervousness, increased talking, rapid eye movement, increased body temperature (can raise as high as 108 degrees), dilated pupils, sweating not related to physical activity, heightened sexual activity, grinding teeth, clenching jaw, uncontrollable movements such as twitching and jerking and stomach cramps. Short-term effects of crystal meth appear soon after a single dose and disappear after a few hours or days. Extremely high doses may cause people to flush or become pale, and cause a rapid or irregular heartbeat and loss of coordination. Amphetamine injections create such an increase in blood pressure that strokes, high fevers or heart failure may happen. As the drug wears off, feelings of fatigue or depression are experienced.

Once the drug’s effect disappears completely; this is known as the “crash”, the user may experience symptoms such as fatigue, nightmares, insomnia, disorientation, confusion, increased appetite, severe depression and suicidal tendencies. The term “Suicide Tuesday” has been coined due to the number of weekend users that feel the severe depression a few days after they have stopped using during the week.

Signs of continued meth use

Some signs of continued meth use include, strong body order, shadows under the eyes, dry skin, pale complexion, acne/ acne- type sores, picking hair, severe nail biting , nose bleeds, nasal perforations, dermatitis around the mouth and lack of personal hygiene.


Serious health and appearance problems can be caused by unsterilized needles, lack or ignoring of hygiene needs (more typical in chronic use), and obsessive skin-picking which may lead to abscesses

Long-term effects

Long-term heavy use of amphetamines may lead to malnutrition, skin disorders, ulcers and diseases resulting from vitamin deficiencies. Regular use may contribute to lack of sleep and weight loss, restlessness, headache, hypertension, hypotension, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, diarrhea, constipation, dizziness, insomnia, numbness, palpitations, arrhythmias, tremors, itchy skin, and with chronic and/or high dosages, hair loss, discoloured, rotting or missing teeth (meth mouth), corneal ulcerations, seizures, brain damage, lead poisoning, twitching, malnutrition, impaired speech, severe depression, abuse / neglecting children, strychnine poisoning and convulsions. Amphetamine-induced psychosis is a paranoid state that may develop after ingestion or the injection of large doses of amphetamines. Intravenous users are at risk for serious, life-threatening diseases such as AIDS, lung and heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases. Frequent use of large amounts of amphetamines may eventually result in mental illness, heart attack, stroke, suicide and violent death.

Meth mouth

Methamphetamine users and addicts may lose their teeth abnormally quickly, a condition known as "meth mouth". This effect is not caused by any corrosive effects of the drug itself, which is a common myth. According to the American Dental Association, meth mouth "is probably caused by a combination of drug-induced psychological and physiological changes resulting in dry mouth, extended periods of poor oral hygiene, frequent consumption of high-calorie, carbonated beverages and teeth grinding and clenching." Like other substances which stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, methamphetamine causes decreased production of acid-fighting saliva and increased thirst, resulting in increased risk for tooth decay.

Meth Bugs

A fairly common hallucination experienced by meth users is called “meth bugs”. The user gets the sensation that there are insects creeping on top of, or underneath, their skin. The user will pick at or scratch their skin trying to get rid of the imaginary bugs. This scratching can create open sores that may become infected.


Meth overdose

Overdoses are relatively common. Symptoms include high fever, chest pain, rapid breathing, sudden dangerous increase in blood pressure, hallucinations, profuse sweating, chances of heart attack, stroke, or coma, convulsions tremors, confusion, dangerous raise in body temperature, seeing spots (due to pressure on the nerves of the eyes) andcirculatory, respirator, cardiovascular collapse and possible death.